NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The North Myrtle Beach City Council is moving ahead with a plan to change its current towing ordinance.
City leaders passed a first reading that would better protect drivers from shady towing practices.
City councilmembers said during Monday’s meeting that they received multiple complaints from residents about being towed when they’re legally parked, according to our news partner My Horry News.
In the proposed new towing ordinance, if a wrecker is towing a person’s vehicle without their knowledge, then a police officer and the private property owner or agent of record must first be called to the location. The agent of record is a person that the property owner has given authority to authorize a wrecker service to tow a vehicle from their property.
“Upon arrival, the police officer or other official within the department of public safety shall provide an authorization number and a form provided by the city, to be signed by the private property owner or agent of record and the wrecker service,” according to the proposed ordinance.
It also prohibits any wrecker company from charging fees such as administrative fees, processing fees or fuel surcharges in order for the owner to get their vehicle.
The city stated that these changes are in an effort to reduce price gouging and unethical towing.
Before there is a second reading on the proposed ordinance, the city council wants police officers and other personnel to meet with all towing companies in North Myrtle Beach to discuss and resolve any issues.
Once that is done, a workshop will be scheduled so that the city council can learn the results of the meeting and discuss the proposed towing ordinance further.